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Bouchard's Breakthrough Continues

Eugenie Bouchard rallied to beat Casey Dellacqua and not only reach her very first Grand Slam quarterfinal, but become the first Canadian to reach one since the 1992 US Open. Who did it then?

Published January 19, 2014 12:14

Bouchard's Breakthrough Continues
Casey Dellacqua, Eugenie Bouchard

MELBOURNE, Australia - Eugenie Bouchard regrouped after a tense first set tie-break and stormed into the quarterfinals of the Australian Open - the Canadian's first Grand Slam quarterfinal.

In a match-up between two surprise packages at the Happy Slam - Bouchard is the No.30 seed, Dellacqua a wildcard - there were some tense moments early on as neither player could really get in front in the first set, until Dellacqua claimed the tie-break. But from there it was all Bouchard, who began finding the range on her big serve and groundies, eventually running away with it, 67(5) 62 60.

"I felt the first set was a bit shaky. I feel like I still served well in the first, but I made too many unforced errors and wasn't being aggressive enough," Bouchard said. "In the second and third sets I really stepped in more and really controlled the points out there. And that worked really well for me."

Dellacqua was all class in the press room afterwards. "It's obviously disappointing to lose, but I'd probably say the best player tonight won, and that was Eugenie," she said. "She played the best tennis in the end. She played really well. I did what I could out there - tried to create some scoreboard pressure, and tried to hold court position - but she was playing really well tonight and all credit to her."

There was more props coming from the Australian, too. "To already be in the quarterfinals at age 19, it's a pretty good effort. She plays some really good tennis. When she's on, her serve is great. She holds court position amazingly. She's mentally tough. Somebody her age, she's pretty composed. She didn't seem like she was going to crack too much today. I think that's a really positive sign for her.

"I've seen her play great in the juniors. Sometimes translating into the seniors is tough, but she's done it with a breeze. I look forward to watching her career - I think she'll be an extremely good player."

Bouchard is the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal since Patricia Hy-Boulais reached the quarterfinals of the 1992 US Open (Hy-Boulais fell to Monica Seles). The last Canadian to reach a Grand Slam semifinal was Carling Bassett-Seguso at the 1984 US Open (falling to Chris Evert).

"I'm excited," Bouchard said. "We're at a Grand Slam. I'm just so happy to be playing, and I'm looking forward to playing another match. I'm really happy to be here and hopefully I play well next match."

Awaiting Bouchard in the quarterfinals is No.14 seed Ana Ivanovic, and Bouchard beat Ivanovic in their only previous meeting, a second round encounter on Centre Court at Wimbledon this past summer.

"She beat Serena so she's playing really well," Bouchard said. "I'm looking forward to a really tough battle. We're in the quarters now; she deserves to be there. No one's going to give it to me now."

What does the Canadian remember from that match at SW19? "I remember just being so excited to be on Centre Court, trying to look in the Royal Box to see who was watching the match. And I think I played well in that match. I'm feeling confident. I feel like I'm playing well, but it's going to be a battle."

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